Welcome, students!

Pracademy is honoured to teach you all. 




A practical academy for change-makers.

August 6th - August 17th, 2018
@ Oslo House of Innovation

At Smac you'll learn the mindset and the tools you need to solve any challenge creatively.

For two weeks in August 2018 we offer you cutting-edge, hands-on design thinking training. You'll be working in multidisciplinary teams and solve real-life challenges using design thinking. The teams will be trained and coached by Pracademy´s leading practitioners and experts.

Student fee: 2.000 NOK


What people say about us

““Exceptionally good,” “lots of energy,” “people were over the moon about it.”
— Wilhelmsen's top 30 managers globally @ Annual Management Forum 2017
“The feedback from our colleagues is that they left the workshop with more positive energy, some good ideas and tools to implement in their everyday work life.”
— Andreas Mikalsen, Managing Director - Marine Harvest Markets Norway AS

“The best experience we had was that employees learnt to work in another, new way. We think we will be able to get much more out of it and we definitely want to do this more!.”
— Alette Knudsen, Project Leader, Bergen Kommune

The Participants

Design Thinking Summer Pracademy is for open-minded, action-oriented and creative doers. Each team will be a mix of students and young professionals with a diverse set of backgrounds. They're overlappings factors are: smart, creative and curious. They are change-makers.

The Program

The program will be a mix of short instructional lectures, practical learning experiences and guided, hands-on teamwork. The teams will quickly be thrown out of the building to empathize with users by interviewing and observing them in field. After which they´ll ideate, prototype, test, and retest in an iterative fashion. During the whole program they will be guided and coached by expert facilitators. 

The Facilitators

At Pracademy, we are equal parts educators and practitioners who understand the importance of a real-life, hands-on, and experiential educational journey. Our training programs incorporate empirically proven, cutting-edge pedagogical and innovation tools originating from Stanford University, where our team has been educated and has taught.

The Partners

Our partners are innovative Norwegian companies that want to learn more about design thinking and hire people with design thinking experience. They will contribute with a challenge as well as financially.

The Design Challenge

The design challenge can be development of new a product, service, internal process or system. Above all, it is an important challenge the partner is facing, related to human factors.

IMG_3694 (1).JPG

You will learn:  

  • Empathy

    • Embrace empathy by putting yourself in the shoes of others.
    • Interview people in order to elicit meaningful responses that point you towards their deepest intentions.
  • Sensemaking
    • Make sense of your empathy research by crafting powerful insights, and move from data to knowledge.
    • Craft a Point of View, which will synthesize your empathy research and give it focus and direction.
  • Ideation
    • Become skilled at coming up with creative ideas that will serve as solutions to complex, ambiguous challenges.
    • Use many different ideation tools like brainstorming, brainwriting, and quick sketching.
  • Prototyping
    • Build all sorts of rapid and rough prototypes that bring your ideas into the real world quickly and cheaply.
  • Testing
    • Expose prototypes to the world, ask the right questions, receive good feedback, learn, and iterate repeatedly
  •  Collaboration
    • Collaborate with people with different backgrounds, and tap into the creative potential of diversity
    • Play, have fun, laugh, and not take yourself too seriously, while taking your creative work extremely seriously.
  • Communication
    • Recognise the immense power of storytelling 
    • Use your body effectively during presentations, and read others' body language 
    • Connect deeply with your audience by using physical space strategically
    • Moderate your tone, pace, and rhythm to keep your audience listening
    • Engage the crowd through well-timed questions and humor
    • Design attractive visual aids that use the immense power of pictures and videos

Key benefits:

  • Improve your interview and observation techniques to better understand user motivations.
  • Understand how to define and reframe problems based on the emotional needs of customers.
  • Develop a just-do-it mentality through rapid prototyping and iteration.
  • Learn how to embrace diversity of opinion using a common process for design.

You will also:

  • Get to know a bunch of ambitious and awesome people
  • Get to know companies that need to hire tons of motivated design thinking practitioners.  - You might get your dream job.
  • Learn how to connect deeply with other human beings.
  • Learn to be a confident communicator.
  • Develop your teamwork skills.
  • Have tons of fun.

Application process

To be a part of the Summer Pracademy you first need to give us your email by pushing the button. Then you will receive more information by mail. There will be a formal text application, a creative application and potentially an interview.  


Innovation by Design Thinking @ NTNU

This is a 3-month master’s level course in design thinking at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), held in partnership with ten different private and public-sector organizations, including Tine, SINTEF, Alba Gruppen, Disruptive Technologies, amongst others.  The course is project-based, with student teams tackling real-life challenges in collaboration with the participating organizations.  This course, is one of the most popular electives at the university, and uses state-of-the-art teaching methods including blended/digital learning, flipped classroom strategies, project-based learning, and mindfulness training. 

Innovation by DT is the first university-wide, interdisciplinary innovation course at NTNU. Launched in 2015 in collaboration with Professor Martin Steinert, the course attracts nearly 200 students, who tackled team-based design challenges like, for example, autonomous vehicle development, handicapped accessibility, and the design of green markets. 

Link to Sign Up Sheet

Link to Teams and Challenges Sheet



Tuesday, September 5th

Wednesday, September 6th

Wednesday, September 13th

Tuesday, October 10th and Wednesday, October 11th

Tuesday, October 17th



Developing a Point of View



Interviewing Skills

Gaining Empathy

Stanford d.school Bootleg

Video of Jon Kolko on Synthesis*

"Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis," Jon Kolko

Paul Ekman Website



Stanford d.school Bootleg

Interpersonal Closeness Article

NTNU TechZone article about Empathy and Deep Immersion

"Can you read people's emotions?The New York Times

"Design Thinking: A Unified Framework for Innovation." Forbes*

"Anthropology, Inc.The Atlantic*

"Perceiving Needs," Rolf Faste*

"Empathy on the Edge," IDEO*

"Dancing with Ambiguity," Martin Steinert*

"IBM’s Design-Centered Strategy to Set Free the Squares.The New York Times

"What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team," The New York Times Magazine*



Davidson, R. and Goleman, D. (2017), Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body

Seppala, E. (2014), 18 Science-Based Reasons to Try Loving-Kindness Meditation Today, October.

Free the Mind, a documentary about Richard Davidson, the world's leading mindfulness scholar, and his work.

Ricard, M. (2010).  Why Meditate? Hay House Publisher, August 12.

Any material from Matthieu Ricard, Richard Davidson (U. Wisconsin - Madison), Daniel Goleman (Harvard), Jon Kabat-Zinn (U. of Massachusetts), and Emma Seppala (Stanford) is sure to be informed and top-notch.

Apps:  Headspace,  calm Insight Timer



Module 1:  Introduction

Tuesday, September 5th:  10.15 to 14.00

Wednesday, September 6th:  12:15 to 16:00


Module 2:  Empathy

Tuesday, September 12th:  10.15 to 14.00

Wednesday, September 13th:  12.15 to 16.00


Module 3:  Needsfinding I

Tuesday, September 26th:  10.15 to 14.00 (coaching)

Wednesday, September 27th:  12.15 to 16.00 (coaching)


Module 4:  Needsfinding II

Tuesday, October 3rd:  10.15 to 14.00 (coaching)

Wednesday, October 4th:  12.15 to 16.00 (coaching)


Module 5:  Sensemaking & Defining a POV

Tuesday, October 10th:  10.15 to 14.00

Tuesday, October 10th:  19:00 to whenever - TMM4220 Video Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, October 11th:  12.15 to 16.00


Module 6:  Ideation

Tuesday, October 17th:  10.15 to 14.00

Wednesday, October 18th:  12.15 to 16.00 (coaching)


Module 7:  Prototyping & Testing

Tuesday, October 24th:  10.15 to 14.00 (coaching)

Wednesday, October 25th:  12.15 to 16.00 (coaching)


Module 8:  Iterations

Tuesday, October 31st:  10.15 to 14.00 (coaching)

Wednesday, November 1st:  12.15 to 16.00 (coaching)


Demo Day!

Tuesday, November 7th:  10.15 to 14.00 



Who should take this course?

Are you interested in putting a ding in the universe?  If the answer to this question is "yes," then TMM4220 is for you! 

AND, this "ding" comes with several caveats and responsibilities.  We are looking for students willing and able to deal with tons and tons of ambiguity.  (If the meaning of ambiguity is unclear to you, read this article.)

We (the profs and coaches) will NOT tell you what to do---that is up to you to find out.  We assure you that you will---many times---find yourself drowning in confusion, a bit of stress, and lots and lots of lack of clarity.  That is all part of the TMM4220 learning experience.  There will be no right and wrong answers to anything we do in TMM4220.  You will learn to deal with the grayness of life and innovation.  After all, black and white is so 1990s.

This course, furthermore, will NOT follow the traditional ordered and structured (read: boring) set up.  We will not give you lectures, nor will we test you.  We don't believe in either.  We believe in the human experience and real-world learning, which are messy, confusing and at the same time exciting, inspiring, and really fun.

Along the way you will be supported by a dedicated team of awesome design thinkers who deeply care about your learning experience.  Your profs and coaches are fully student-focused.  You are the main thing we care about---above and beyond anything else (i.e., research, publishing, university politics, etc.).

So if this sounds like something you can handle and are interested in, then we would be thrilled to have you as part of the course. 

Let's do this!

But I can't attend all sessions.  Can I still join the course?

We are aware that you cannot come to all lectures/sessions.  As long as you get the material and coordinate within your team, and attend at least 80% of the time, that is OK.  Having said that, if your team as a whole feels you have not contributed enough to deserve a Pass grade, we will seriously re-consider your status in the course.

Will I be working on real-life challenges?

Yes.  A major part of TMM4220 will be based on addressing real-life Design Challenges.  These Challenges will be tackled in teams and will cover a wide range of areas, including Mechanical Engineering, Product Development, Service Innovation, Business Model Innovation, and Process/Systems Innovation.  We will introduce these Design Challenges, so that you can choose to join one, between Module 1 and 2.

How will I be graded?

The grading system for TMM4220 is Pass or Fail.  Keep in mind that some Erasmus universities have issues with this, and that we cannot issue letter grades.

We will evaluate you on the following three criteria:

1.  Project Presentation during Demo Day –(Team-based)
•2.  Design-driven, Knowledge Portfolio (Team-based)
•3.  A 5-Page Reflective Essay (Team-based)

Our primary focus will be on the learning process, and NOT on your final deliverables.  Unlike your traditional university experience, we will not be too worried about whether you came up with the "right" solution, since we don't believe that such a solution exists in design and innovation.  Design thinkers care about the process, above and beyond the final results.  This might sound strange to you now, AND we feel that you will all understand what we mean by the time you dive into your projects.

Can I choose my own team?

During Module 3 or 4, we will post a link to a Google Spreadsheet where you will be able to build your teams.  We will leave this process completely up to you.  You can choose both which team members you will work with, and what Challenge you will address.  The only requirement is for you to try your very best to form multidisciplinary and diverse teams.  This includes diversity in gender, country, and educational background.

Where will the course be held?

VE-22 SMASH, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MTP), Richard Birkelandsvei 2B.

A lot of the work you will do for this course will be "out in the field."  We plan to turn the traditional educational environment upside down, where most of your learning will be done in teams in the real and nasty world, and not in the old-school, stale classroom setting.

Am I really eligible for this course?

All NTNU students are eligible to take this course.  There are, however, limited spaces.  Besides going through a special application process (more info on this during Day 1 of the course), the only other requirements are an open mind, a doer attitude, and lots of positive energy!  AND...a bit of awesomeness.

Where can I get more info about the course?

1.  Official NTNU Site

2.  NTNU TechZone

3.  NTNU Technoport


Are there any books for the course?

1.  David & Tom Kelley (2014).  Creative Confidence:  Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All.

2.  Chade-Meng Tan (2012).  Search Inside Yourself:  The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace).

These books are available for purchase at Akademika.  If you buy both together, you will get a special discount.

2017 NHH CEMS Design Thinking Week



This week-long course is an immersive experience into design thinking—an empathy-based, human-centered, and rapid prototype-driven methodology for innovation developed at Stanford University. Design thinking helps to tackle challenges such as the creation of new products, technological innovations, services, business models, experiences, processes and/or systems.

The primary aim of the course is to empower students to ideate, launch, run, and successfully complete innovation projects that have a significant and meaningful impact on users' lives and on pioneering organizations and industries. The week-long course encompasses intensive workshops and teamwork on need finding, ethnographic research, empathy, observation, immersion, brain-/body-storming, ideation, and rapid prototyping—all in the context of innovation challenges and addressing strategic industry objectives.



Tuesday, 22. August:  Empathy

07:30                           Meet at Bergen Train Station, coffee in hand :-)

07:57                           Train departs from Bergen

09:10                           Train arrives in Voss

09:30 -  09:45            Meet at Voss Park Hotel in Workshop Room for Team Information and Challenges

09:45 – 10:15              Stakeholder Mapping

10:15 – 12:00              Empathy Exploration Out in the Wild, Round 1

12:00 – 12:45              Lunch & Debrief

13:00 -  13:45              Meeting with Companies

13:45 – 15:00              Empathy Exploration Out in the Wild, Round 2

15:00 – 15:30             Check in and Getting Ready for Team Building Activities

15:30                             Picked up at Hostel by Voss Rafting              

15:30 – 22:30              Voss Rafting & BBQ


Wednesday, 23. August:  Sensemaking & Defining a POV

09:00 – 09:30              Mindfulness (optional)

09:30 – 09:45              Coffee, Debrief & Prep

09:45 – 11:00               Empathy Exploration Out in the Wild, Round 3

11:00 – 12:00               Participant Boarding

12:00 - 12:45                Lunch

12:45 - 13:15                 Affinity Mapping

13:15 – 14:15                Journey Mapping

14:15 – 16:00               Defining a Point of View

19:30                              Group Dinner (at the hostel)


Thursday, 24. August:  Ideation, Rapid Prototyping & Testing

09:00 – 09:30             Mindfulness (optional)

09:30 – 11:00              Coffee, Debrief & Ideation Sessions

11:00 – 12:00              Rapid Prototyping

12:00 - 12:45               Lunch

12:45 – 13:45               Testing Out in the Wild, Round 1

13:45 – 14:45               Iteration on Prototypes

14:45 – 16:00              Testing Out in the Wild, Round 2

19:30                             Group Dinner (at the hostel)


Friday, 25. August:  Demo Day

Early morning              Pack, Check Out & bring bags to Workshop room

09:00 – 09:30              Mindfulness (optional)

09:30 – 10:30              Presentation Tools & Storytelling       

10:30 – 12:00               Presentation Prep & Working Lunch

12:00 – 14:00               Presentation Delivery to Company Representatives and Special Visitors

14:00 – 14:30               Final Course Debrief & Feedback Session (Outdoors)

14:30 – 15:00               Pick-Up & Cleaning Session

15:20                              Meet at Train Station

15:39                              Train Departs for Bergen

NB1:  We will have various short breaks along the way, depending on the energy level of the group.

NB2:  Schedule may change throughout the course due to inherent ambiguity of the design thinking process.




Voss Bryggeri

Contact Person:  Jeanette Lillås

Mobile:  975 40 517

Address:  Kytesvegen 396

Email:  Jeanette@vossbryggeri.com


Extreme Sports Festival

Contact Person:  Julian Stocker

Mobile:  90159859

Address:  Tre Brør Kafé, upper floor

Email:  hallo_hamster@me.com 


Doms Biltong

Contact Person:  Matthew Doms

Mobile:  95497091

Address:  Finnesvegen 16 

Email:  matthew@domsbiltong.no



Contact Person:  Alexander Ringheim

Mobile:  41724383

Address:  Miltzows gata 2

Email:  info@invertapro.com



Day One.

Day Two & Teams



Cohen, R. (2014). "Design Thinking: A Unified Framework for Innovation." Forbes, March 31.

Wood, G. (2013). "Anthropology, Inc.The Atlantic, February 20.



Battarbee, K., Fulton Suri, J., Gibbs Howard, S., "Empathy on the Edge" IDEO.

Kolko, J. (2011). Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis.



Owen, C. (2007).  "Design Thinking: Notes on its Nature and Use." Design Research Quarterly Vol.2, N0.1, January,, pp. 16-27.

Steinert, M. & Leifer, L. J. (2011). “Dancing with ambiguity: Causality behavior, design thinking, and triple-loop-learning.” Information, Knowledge, Systems Management. Vol. 10, pp. 151-173. Amsterdam: IOS Press.

Lohr, S. (2015). "IBM’s Design-Centered Strategy to Set Free the Squares." The New York Times, November 14.

Perlroth, N. (2013). "Solving Problems for Real World, Using Design." The New York Times, December 29.

Naik, G. (2006).  "A Hospital Races to Learn Lessons of Ferrari Pit Stop."  The Wall Street Journal, November 14.

* If you'd like to explore even more readings, you can find a long list here.



Free the Mind, a documentary about Richard Davidson, the world's leading mindfulness scholar, and his work.

Ricard, M. (2010).  Why Meditate? Hay House Publisher, August 12.

Besides the work of Davidson and Ricard, any other material from Daniel Goleman (Harvard), Jon Kabat-Zinn (U. of Massachusetts), and Emma Seppala (Stanford) is sure to be informed and top-notch.

Apps:  Headspace,  calm Insight Timer



If you'd like to continue learning about design thinking, I would encourage you to read the following two books:

Kelley, D. & Kelley, T. (2014). Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All.

Roth, B. (2015). The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life.